GLO 303 Theoretical Perspectives on Globalization

This course takes up the ambitious task of theorizing globalization, one of the defining conceptual rubrics of our current historical moment. Under investigation, then, is not only globalization-its origins, dynamics, characteristics, and consequences-but also theory. What role can intellectual and critical inquiry play in the world today? What is the relationship between generalization and particularity, that is to say between conceptual models that engage in broad forms of periodization, systemic analysis, or abstraction, versus those analytical models that focus on the particular, the local, the historically or geographically specific? What is the relationship between theory and critique? What are the intellectual traditions that inform contemporary thought? And how might a reflective investigation of theory help us to better understand and respond to the globalizing processes and structures that condition the world in which we live? Engaging these questions, the course will review a variety of influential theoretical perspectives that analyze the origins, dynamics, and consequences of globalizing forces. Focusing on key areas of contention and commonality, the course aims to provide students with a complex understanding of the assumptions, contribution, and limitations of current theoretical perspectives on globalization.